Renewables + Energy Stability = Energy Independence + Atmospheric Decarbonisation
Renewable Energy Technology has the potential to deliver 100% of our energy needs and radically change how the world’s population converts and consumes energy however there are still some technological shortfalls which currently prevent the realisation of this goal. The most commercially advanced Renewable Energy Technologies are those of Wind and Solar, both of which are sustainable but highly variable in nature. At present a modern economy cannot function as required whilst being fully reliant on these types of intermittent energy resources without the integration of additional enabling technologies. While interconnecting with the renewable energy infrastructure of other countries is a solution, this would conflict with the increasingly important issues of national energy security and independence.
Relentless innovation is placing us within reach of technologies that will provide the level of energy independence we require, e.g. systems which manage demand more effectively using smart grids and appliances but technologies that can be developed to stabilise non-synchronous power out-puts will have the greatest impact on the increased grid penetration of Renewables.
Storage Technology could provide this type of stability management, and when effectively integrated with renewable energy sources, would provide alternatives which allow us to disengage from our current participation in what is a “fossil-fuelled race to the bottom”.
The traditional utility model of centralised energy generation and distribution is set for radical change, as demonstrated with some of the European industry giants currently divesting their fossil-fuel and nuclear energy businesses, while emerging energy management technologies clear the way for a multi-level scenario of energy self-sufficiency.
There are numerous technical, economic and societal benefits associated with successful energy management and the commercial dynamic behind the requirements, in broad terms, is further substantiated in the binding agreements that have been entered into at government level concerning the way energy is being produced and consumed both in Europe and Internationally.
The Energy SRS design is a concept that is intended for use as a renewable energy management system, and as such, it offers an alternative to battery storage systems. The fundamental basis of the concept is that energy storage and regeneration can be achieved with the use of gravitational force when raising and lowering a mass within a vertical subterranean borehole.
Global opportunities exist for this patent pending technology as the growing evidence of climate change combined with our untenable dependence on imported fossil fuels is triggering major revisions in the way electricity systems have to be operated and managed. Stabilising the intermittent out-put of renewable energy systems using viable energy management technology has become a critical objective in the efforts to maximise the production of sustainable energy.
This gravitational potential energy storage system (GPES) is designed to facilitate the increased grid penetration of electrical energy generated from renewable energy sources. Energy SRS has identified the technical challenges and solutions related to the implementation, procurement and construction of a fully functioning, concept validating prototype which represents the short term goal of this project.
The current grid-scale storage technologies of Pumped Hydro (PHES) and Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) have very restrictive geophysical and financial limitations to any potential intensified development which exposes a significant market gap for new alternatives. Battery and flywheel installations provide options but typically on a drastically reduced scale. A power management gap exists which this GPES system could bridge, at a lower life-cycle cost than batteries, a higher energy-to-power ratio than flywheels and a greater efficiency and faster ramp-up rate than compressed air and PHES.